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Three religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, share the same roots: Abraham and Sarah. The core of each religion is their faith in a single creator of our universe. That belief of theirs, some 4,000 years ago, shaped world history – positively and negatively.

All three religions have books offering guidelines for life, but which provide room for diverse spectrums that have grown within each. All three religions keep reforming themselves with elements that claim to be the “purer” message of God – some members turning backward to the “way we‘ve always done it”; others urging changes for a changing world

Perhaps it is time to peel away accumulations of time and not try to repair, reform or change anything — just realize that not only all three religions, but the right and left within each, share that original faith in the same beneficent creator.

The writings of the three religions each present internal contradictions, making it impossible to obey every chapter, verse and surah. All of us select preferences — often based on prejudices — and commit to some verses while evading others, which cause problems.

Anyone who admits these contradictions can realize they have chosen only “part” of their religion. Too often we want to impose this small selection of ours on others who are not comfortable with it. Fanatics then develop harmful practices toward those who differ.

I urge applying that faith of Abraham and Sarah to civil and private life. Look at creation; accept it as the first book of faith.

Joris Heise, Bloomington

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